Sunday, 16 December 2012

Final Preparations

The second week in Cumbria continued in much the same vein with largely clear skies, sub zero temperatures leading to tricky walking conditions and the fells looking sublime with their dusting of snow. My parents joined me for a fun filled few days and I managed to finish scanning in around 20 albums of photographs covering the period of my life between 1976 and 2001. That stirred memories of my happy days training in Hampshire, the move to Bristol, many years of caving around the UK and the many triumphs and challenges of life on the farm. The transition to digital storage since 2001 is a reminder of how much technology has changed - certainly life in the van is far more sophisticated than those epics in the 80's when I had an air cooled Type 2 that was never happier than when on on AA Relay truck returning down the M6 from Scotland and communication relied on shoving substantial coinage in to a phone box.
Returning south via York to see family and Sheffield for an excellent curry with Penny I then diverted to the showrooms of Timberland Motorhomes where their range of sleek and sophisticated campers was rather enticing. However after a thorough look round nothing really floated my boat and I am now considering two options - keep this amazing old girl and maybe buy a van in Oz to leave there and use for the 6 months or so of our winter, or source a good base vehicle and commission someone to assist me in conversion to my own spec. based on the knowledge and experience gained over the last 7 years of being on the road.
A brief break in Coventry enabled me to arrange travel insurance that will provide cover in the unlikely event of another coronary meltdown, purchase the last few items prior to leaving for Europe and extract enough medication from the surgery to see me through to April.
In Brecon I sorted out finances for the trip, plus arrangements for requesting breakdown cover, enjoyed the usual energetic badminton session and survived a particularly cold night in the town centre car park alongside a French couple. 
I hope to post on Thursday night whilst waiting for the 23.30 sailing but beyond that communication will become patchier as I will be restricting phone and internet usage thanks to the usual unacceptably high cost of European usage. 
The plan is to head south to Bordeaux fairly smartly and then track the coast of Spain and Portugal with a final leg to Gibraltar for the 1st of Feb. when my Green Card van insurance for Morocco starts. If Morocco suits me I will stay on another few weeks and return either late March or the week after Easter.
Either way I have a fairly tight schedule as it is such a large country and I will need to keep up a steady rate of progress.
Some piccies here cover the last week of Cumbria and click here to see where I am lurking!

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